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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gentle, immersive and well written gem.
I have read this book a number of times now and, despite knowing the ending, never get tired of it.

Set on a small US fishing Island off Seattle it deals with a mixed community containing a number of japanese settlers. The period is the Second World War and the aftermath.

Prior to the war the community is fairly settled with it's staple outputs of...
Published on 9 Sep 2010 by Chris L

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glad I took a chance on this one
Not my usual genre of reading I have to admit, but I promised myself I would read at least 5 novels I usually wouldn't bother with this year- and I'm glad that this was one of them.

The novel centres around an alleged murder on a tiny Island off Puget Sound- a fisherman is found dead on his boat out at sea and a local Japanese fisherman is blamed for his...
Published on 17 Dec 2009 by Nicola F (Nic)


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gentle, immersive and well written gem., 9 Sep 2010
By 
Chris L (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Snow Falling on Cedars (Paperback)
I have read this book a number of times now and, despite knowing the ending, never get tired of it.

Set on a small US fishing Island off Seattle it deals with a mixed community containing a number of japanese settlers. The period is the Second World War and the aftermath.

Prior to the war the community is fairly settled with it's staple outputs of logging, strawberry farming (using lots of immigrant japanese labour) and fishing. It features the parallel lives of two boys who grew up on the Island - Carl Heine a European Immigrant and Kabuo Miyamoto a Japanese Immigrant. Both move away to fight during the war (for the US) and both return damaged to an extent. The book starts as Carl Heine's body is discovered (I am not giving anything away here, this is revealed on page one) and tracks back over time to draw a picture of the circumstances running up to his death.

The author, David Guterson, does a lovely job of weaving a storyline of different lives and themes such as love, betrayal, war, racial hatred and upheaval set against a charming small island/town mentality. For example the descriptive passages dealing with the loneliness of fishing at night are simply excellent and this holds true throughout the book.

It is also a book that in many ways defys genre. I think pretty much anyone who enjoys a good book will like it. From the moment it starts it welcomes you in and pulls you through the trials and tribulations of the main charactors in an immersive and endearing way. The author deals with the key themes superbly.

I strongly suggest that if you have not read it you do so and allow it to wash over you. I don't think you will regret it and I think you will thouroughly enjoy it.

I hope this review was of use to you:)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glad I took a chance on this one, 17 Dec 2009
By 
Nicola F (Nic) (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Snow Falling on Cedars (Paperback)
Not my usual genre of reading I have to admit, but I promised myself I would read at least 5 novels I usually wouldn't bother with this year- and I'm glad that this was one of them.

The novel centres around an alleged murder on a tiny Island off Puget Sound- a fisherman is found dead on his boat out at sea and a local Japanese fisherman is blamed for his death... Unfortunate when you consider that this is set in the years following Pearl Harbour and a degree of racism is still trite in the community- particularly amongst the victim's family.

The book itself was hard to put down, though a little wordy in places on some of the descriptions. It was atmospheric and moving and you quickly find yourself getting involved in the narrative and becoming caught up in the `community' of fictional San Piedro and just wondering if the suspect really is guilty or not. The `courtroom' aspects of the novel evoked just the right amount of suspense too- overall an enjoyable read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great love story, 4 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Snow Falling on Cedars (Paperback)
This novel deals with the treatment of Japanese Americans during WW2 and its aftermath. It focuses on the relationship between a white man, Ishmael and his former lover, Hatsue who is Japanese. Hatsue's husband (who is also Japanese) is charged with a murder that many people think is related to a past feud between the white and Japanese communities. Ishmael is caught between uncovering this murder mystery for his newspaper and his feelings for Hatsue. This is a great love story and mystery at the same time. I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful portrait of a Community, 14 April 2014
By 
hfffoman (Kent) - See all my reviews
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Although outwardly a courtroom drama, this novel is really a description of the lives of a whole community of people living on a fishing and fruit-growing island near Seattle after the second world war. It is full of minute observation that suggests it is either thoroughly researched or the author knows the place intimately. Reading it gave me a very satisfying feeling of being in touch with the universal humanity of the many different interconnected lives it traces.

I rarely read courtroom dramas or watch courtroom films. They are nearly always too simplistic and one-sided. This one is even-handed so you can understand and appreciate the position of all the different people involved.

I recommend the audio version. The reading is, sensitive, gentle and a decent rendition of the different dialogue voices.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, 16 Aug 2005
This review is from: Snow Falling on Cedars (Paperback)
I studied this novel for a module in my literature AS level. Before we studied it I read it twice and fell in love with it, the more we studied it the more i began to appreciate how Guterson has crafted the story to deeply engage and involve the reader.I read the book now and I can feel the weather, smell the scents and I love how Guterson has created this effect. I find the story to be full and well written, he's obvously done a tonne of research and the plot is brilliant.Our teacher wouldn't let us watch the film until we'd taken the exam.I wasn't disappointed.All the moodiness, the atmosphere, the chemistry had translated so well and the film remains to be one of the best I've seen.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply stunning, 21 Feb 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Snow Falling on Cedars (Paperback)
Not only a fantastic thriller which will keep you guessing right 'til the last page, but one into which Guterson manages to weave a complex and gentle lesson on morality, a heart-breaking love story, and a study of the prejudices of an insulated community. Snow Falling on Cedars is written in a distant understated style which reflects the author's desire not to judge any of his characters, but rather to know them and understand their actions, and as such, comes across as a beautiful, poetic, yet utterly plausible story. Guterson's landscape is unforgiving, but it is one with which he is so obviously at one, that every page bursts with a vibrant authenticity which captivates the reader. This book works on every level imaginable, it is simply stunning.
If you liked To Kill A Mockingbird, I fully recommend this title.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Romanticising the exotic easterner, 18 Sep 2009
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Snow Falling on Cedars (Paperback)
Guterson's novel is about events following Pearl Harbour when America entered the war in earnest and thousands of Japanese Americans were interred in camps to prevent them giving aid to the enemy. The tiny island of San Piedro on the far western edge of North America, with strawberry farming and fishing boats, banked by forests of cedar trees and a harbour, provides the setting.

The plot is a mixture of love story and murder trial: a Japanese man is accused of murdering an American and the background of recent war and incipient prejudice conspire to ensure the trial is conducted in an atmosphere of mutual mistrust.

This is a competently-written, sometimes lyrically descriptive book, with an epic feel. The characters are life-like and well-developed, except there is a strange `Zen' effect of rarefied dignity in depicting the Japanese characters that doesn't always ring true and suggests some romanticism of the exotic easterner on the part of the writer. Nevertheless this is an atmospheric novel, tackling its subject well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 3 Nov 2013
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Great atmosphere could really imagine you were in the court room. Extremely well written, beautiful description of the snow and generally of the island. Made the reader aware of the plight of the American Japanese during the 2nd World War.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, 3 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Snow Falling on Cedars (Paperback)
Nice story which keeps you wondering to the end.
I never realised how many Japanese people were deported from different contries after Hiroshima!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 19 Sep 2013
By 
Mrs Lofts "Polly" (Manchester England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Snow Falling on Cedars (Paperback)
I had seen references to this book many times. Knew nothing about it but the title appealed to me. Really glad I purchased it. It is very well written and an interesting read which also informs. Don't need to go over the story but recommend it.

The film is also vey good.
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Snow Falling on Cedars
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (Paperback - 6 July 2009)
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